The Dim-Post

March 24, 2010

Rocks of love

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 5:52 am

Appearances can be decieving. Or not.

Like most of New Zealand’s intellectual haute monde I take time out on Tuesday nights to watch Rock of Love Bus, the reality TV show in which ex-Poison lead singer Brett Michaels searches for love in all the wrong places. This week the parallels with the government’s mining policy were obvious to all.

Idiot/Savant has been reading the geologists reports of the conservation areas being opened up for exploration and points to the conclusion regarding the Parakawai Ecological Area:

Fresh columnar jointed andesite suitable for a range of uses is exposed in both of the old quarries within the Ecological Area. . . . Using a nominal value of $10 per tonne, a rock resource with a total potential value of several tens of millions of dollars could exist here, though realisation of any value would depend on a market being available for it. At present supplies from other sources appear to be satisfying local demand, but this good quality resource is an accessible potential source of supply for the future.

I/S concludes:

So why would we want to dig up a protected area for it? There’s plenty in less valuable parts of the country. It seems like pure ecological vandalism, driven by anti-environmentalist spite.

I think this is about over-optimism rather than spite. Just as in Rock of Love, Brett was taken in by Ashley, the hot blonde with the largest fake breasts of all the contestants, the government has been beguiled by the mining industry estimates. They want to believe that there are hundreds of billions of dollars in minerals just lying around waiting to be picked up and that doing so will effortlessly transform our economy. That’s why Brett fucked Ashley in his tour bus, even though the audience knows that she’s a spiteful back-stabbing power-vomiting alcoholic who ‘used to do donkey shows in Tijuana’.

But – unlike the National government – Brett knows that appearances can be deceiving.  That’s why after spending the night with Ashley he went to the back of his limo with the three skanks he picked up at the Hustler club and made out with them. Obviously in this analogy the Hustler skanks are tourism, environmental exports and the knowledge economy. Our Energy and Conservation Ministers should spend less time listening to mining lobbyists and more time watching the Rock of Love Bus girls drink tequila while playing ice-hockey, or their poll results will rupture as badly as Melissa’s implants.


  1. LOL. So awesome.

    Comment by mjl — March 24, 2010 @ 6:22 am

  2. But but but, big bro Oz won the lottery, so we gotta sell all the family silver and buy tickets too.

    Comment by Ralph — March 24, 2010 @ 7:10 am

  3. Danyl in the past: We can never beat Australia because they have minerals/

    Danyl now: OK, we got minerals, but you can’t touch them. At least not the ones we’ve identified. You gotta look for them in places that is not a National Reserve (80% of this country is National Reserve) and you’re not allowed to look in my backyard.

    Really Danyl, do you have any proposal at all that would make us borrow less than $240 million a week? Ah, you’re not having kids. Right, thanks a lot mate.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — March 24, 2010 @ 7:34 am

  4. BOOBIES!!!!!1!!!!ELEVEN!!1

    Comment by andy (the other one) — March 24, 2010 @ 7:40 am

  5. moving on danyl.

    beneficiaries rorting the system are the news story now.

    Comment by che tibby — March 24, 2010 @ 8:01 am

  6. beneficiaries rorting the system are the news story now.

    Just like Ambre exploited Brett for her TV career in season 1.

    Comment by danylmc — March 24, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  7. Berend, could you tell me (since you have an answer for everything else) how much the treasury will pocket from exploiting the $100 bn or whatever that Brownlee claims is just lying around in the bushes? Because I could be persuaded to mine if the benefits were big enough, but I wouldn’t like to see Australian companies come in, rip out the country’s bedrock and whisk it away while leaving a tip of about 5 per cent for their hosts.

    Comment by bearhunter — March 24, 2010 @ 8:21 am

  8. So did Ambre decieve Brett, or deceive Brett?

    Comment by mjl — March 24, 2010 @ 8:32 am

  9. If you are going to use facts please try for some accuracy about 30% of NZ is in the conservation estate, high compared to most other countries but it is mostly mountains. And why can’t we look in your backyard you seem happy for them to look in ours?

    Comment by Doug — March 24, 2010 @ 8:47 am

  10. bearhunter, if we leave it where it is, there isn’t even a 5% tip. And we’re still borrowing $240 million a week.

    maybe there is no silver bullets, just little scraps here and there, and you just need to do all of them.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — March 24, 2010 @ 8:53 am

  11. Berend,

    That 5% tip (I assume this is the mining royalties we charge companies to make private profit on public land?) will cover about 21 weeks of that borrowing you go on about. It might be handy, but it’s not going to solve anything.

    And of course, any mining company that knows it’s job is going to cut and run before the cleanup begins. Yeah, they’ll pay a bond, but this is normally grossly inadequeate. They won’t do this because they’re immoral, evil capitalists, but because they are legally required to maximise their shareholders returns. Paying billions to clean up their mess will not maximise those returns, so they’ll seek as much as possible to pass this onto you and me, the New Zealand taxpayer. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again.

    So that 5 billion dollars that might pay for some of our borrowing? I expect it’ll be a hell of a lot less than that, and may end up being a negative figure.

    Comment by Tane W — March 24, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  12. I’m not sure what the king solomon-esque dilemma Brett offer the final two in the other series has to do with all this. But I’m keen to hear opinions.

    Maybe it’s like “Well I’m keen to share you” and the open cast mine is like “sure” and the conservation values is like “no” so John chooses…

    And that’s where it all falls down.

    just little scraps here and there

    Even supposing you consider the conservation values being screwed up for hundreds of years to be an unquantifiable loss, a case for the state (or the economy) making a profit isn’t the same as a case the state will derive income.

    Comment by lyndon — March 24, 2010 @ 9:16 am

  13. Australia has mineral wealth, and we can’t match their economy. Until they run out of water.

    Comment by Matthew — March 24, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  14. Berend, if we leave it where it is, at least we haven’t done any damage to the landscape. Digging up the earth and leaving a costly clean-up behind has to be worth more than a few months’ grace from our creditors, surely? If not then why don’t we dig up the entire country, gold, silver, bauxite, coal, whatever, right down to flogging off the last bits as gravel? Then we can divvy up what we make and fuck off to Australia.

    Comment by bearhunter — March 24, 2010 @ 9:32 am

  15. are we *actually* borrowing 250mil per week?

    because it’ll take about 10 years to get that money back from mining. we’ll be nice and broke by then.

    Comment by che tibby — March 24, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  16. are we *actually* borrowing 250mil per week

    I’d assumed that was based on the worst Treasury projections back in the day. We are – as far as the govt books are concerned – recovering, and faster than expected. But they go on repeating the same numbers.

    Comment by lyndon — March 24, 2010 @ 10:10 am

  17. @Tane W: The 5% was a value from a previous quoter.

    But it’s clear that people here don’t want any mining whatsoever. Nowhere, never, ever. Can’t lower taxes, can’t drop government expenditure to 2005 levels, can’t let bureaucrats go, can’t ask beneficiaries if they can perhaps be careful with our money, and we can’t stop borrowing $240 million a week.

    Just can’t do anything, until Labour returns and we’re descending even faster.

    What kind of healthcare do you think you can get in this country when the wage gap for nurses is 100%?

    Really, mining 500×500 square metres is going to wreck conservation land? That’s just pathetic.

    Comment by Berend de Boer — March 24, 2010 @ 11:12 am

  18. Nice picture.

    Just saying..

    Comment by Jeff Rosie — March 24, 2010 @ 11:46 am

  19. Berend,

    You really think it will stop there?

    Comment by Chad C Mulligan — March 24, 2010 @ 12:05 pm

  20. trick is, berend has likely never seen a functioning open-cast mine – other than the space in his knowledge

    Comment by che tibby — March 24, 2010 @ 12:19 pm

  21. Only 5%? Are you sure we wouldn’t sell the mining rights to the highest bidder? What about factoring in the PAYE from the miners wages? What about the extra GST on all the extra stuff they buy with their (quite good I believe) miners wages? There would be a multiplier effect if mining was allowed.

    “Are we *actually* borrowing 250mil per week”
    Good question. The 2009 deficit was $10Billion which is only $192Mill a week, so that’s okay, there’s a mistake somewhere and we can all relax.

    “trick is, berend has likely never seen a functioning open-cast mine – other than the space in his knowledge”
    There are a few open-cast gravel mines around Wellington. They are eyesores to some extent. But then so is modern architecture, to some people.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 24, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

  22. ps I’ve not seen this rock of love. I gotta get me one of those PVRs. For research of course. (Most research is conducted on the net these days I believe.)

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 24, 2010 @ 1:30 pm

  23. @Fist

    You could prolly download Rock of Love off the interwebs for your, ahem, research. I am told there is a lot of downloadable research materials avilible on the torrents.

    Comment by andy (the other one) — March 24, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

  24. “But they go on repeating the same numbers.”

    I’ve seen Berend manage to work the fabled $240 million figure into so many comments that I think I’m almost convinced of it myself.

    Comment by Sam Finnemore — March 24, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

  25. Torrents? Bleck!

    Comment by Clunking Fist — March 25, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

  26. motor boat motor boat motor boat

    Comment by daveo — March 25, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

  27. Umm… the government is not doing the mining, all the are saying if a private company wants to mine in these areas then you take the risk.

    So where is the down side for NZ taxpayers, mining companies don’t mine unless there is money to be made. The government gets the money from the company, more jobs, etc.

    As far as I can see there is limited downside which is why the Greens are saying it’s putting our 100% Pure brand at risk. Which I think not likey since we just had Norwegins shooting everying that moved in NZ.

    Comment by Mark — March 27, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

  28. I drank a heap of tequila tonight!!

    Comment by max powers — March 28, 2010 @ 1:53 am

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